The “Occupy Wall Street” protest is still going strong in Zuccotti Park in New York, and protests continue to proliferate throughout the country.
One thing that tends to happen when a group of people occupy a small area for a period of time is, garbage accumulates. So, Brookfield Properties, who own Zuccotti Park, said that the Occupy Wall Street protesters must leave so the park could be cleaned up and power washed. Occupiers could return after the cleaning, although they would be required to follow rules of the park, such as no more sleeping bags and tents.
If All You Need Is Cleaning, We Will Do It Ourselves!
Protesters felt that the ‘cleaning’ was merely a ploy being used to get them to give up their protest. So, to head off the efforts of Brookfield Properties, protesters took matters into their own hands. On the eve of the proposed cleaning, protesters cleaned up the park themselves. They scrubbed, threw out garbage, and basically made the park more sanitary. As a result of their efforts, park owners have postponed their planned cleaning of the property.
B-Rabbit And The Strategy Used To Win The Final Rap Battle
For those not aware of the movie ‘8 Mile’ starring Eminem, the synopsis is this: Rapper B-Rabbit (Eminem) is from a broken home, lives in a trailer park, has a blue collar job, and occasionally raps at night in Detroit. Of course, B-Rabbit has his enemies (namely, members of the group “Leaders of the Free World”), and to make matters worse, his girlfriend is not very monogamous. Basically, B-Rabbit’s life is a shambles and he also has a prior history of freezing when it is his turn to take the microphone during rap battles.
Near the end of the movie, B-Rabbit gets a buddy to cover for him at his job and he races off to a warehouse for a huge rap battle. During the battle, B-Rabbit has to out-rap various members of the group “Leaders of the Free World”. He beat them one by one, and the final battle is between Rabbit and the kingpin of the “Leaders of the Free World”, “Doc”.
In the battle, Rabbit goes first and he starts thinking about all the the things Doc could use against him in the battle. So, Rabbit decides to strip Doc of all ammunition and raps about Rabbit’s own messed up life: his drunk mom, being white trash, getting beat up, etc etc. He then reveals Doc’s real name is Clarence and that he is a privileged kid from a two-parent household and as someone that really should have no street cred (all true). The crowd goes wild, Rabbit hands Clarence the microphone, and all Clarence can do is lower his head and walk away. Rabbit stripped him of all rappability by saying everything that Clarence could have said. After all, how fun is it to make fun of somebody who already admitted all of their downfalls?
How 8 Mile and the Protesters Are Similar
Even though the two situations are totally different, both the protesters and B-Rabbit were able to succeed by doing one thing: taking away the power of the opposition. The protesters took on the cleaning so the property owners couldn’t justify evicting them, and B-Rabbit admitted all his faults in front of crowd to defuse the message that Clarence was going to try to send.
It is amazing how admitting to downfalls and also taking action can totally neutralize the opposing party. Although not everyone will be involved in warehouse rap battles or live in a park to protest wealth distribution, many people could stand to think about areas of vulnerability that they need to be acknowledge and address. Doing so may just save a job or create opportunity!